By DARA BUTTERFIELD
A new jobs ‘Navigator’ – developed to help people get accurate information about opportunities in the UK oil and gas sector – has been launched in Aberdeen in tandem with the start of Britain’s first National Oil & Gas Skills Week.
Created by OPITO, in collaboration with industry partners, the Oil & Gas Skills Navigator will be the starting point for schools pupils, graduates, military career-changers, employers, teachers or higher education groups and those looking for training information about the oil and gas industry.
It is supported by – among others – Oil & Gas UK, Subsea UK, Decom North Sea, Energy North, the Offshore Contractors Association, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, Skills for Energy, the International Association of Drilling Contractors North Sea Chapter; and the local chamber of commerce.
John McDonald, OPITO Managing Director, said: “The UK’s industrial strategy is a crucial tool to rebalance the economy and promote long-term, sustainable growth.
“Following intensive research it was clear there is a huge amount of data about the industry available but it is very difficult for new entrants and current working professionals alike to discern which of those are commercial offerings and to filter out the irrelevant or outdated information.
“Over the past year we have seen unparalleled collaboration and co-operation across industry, academia and other sectors to develop this pan-industry resource.”
Gordon Ballard, Chairman, Oil and Gas Industry Council, said: “There is no shortage of potential talent coming through the pipeline. What there has been to date, is a lack of collaboration to capture that talent by making our industry accessible and easy to navigate your way around.
“As we continue to compete on an international stage in oil and gas; and see competition for workers with comparable skills in other industrial sectors, it is more important than ever before that we take every opportunity to translate that potential talent into our current and future workforce.
“For many people, the Oil & Gas Navigator will provide the starting point for their journey into oil and gas.”
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing added: “The oil and gas sector is vital to Scotland and we must have the skilled workforce required to strengthen our overall ambition as a major centre for energy activity.
“To do this means we need industry to work with our colleges and universities to ensure they are delivering the skilled workforce that they need and deliver the best value out of the public investment that we provide for the training of the current and future workforce.
“As a sector that is now estimated to support 450,000 jobs across the UK – half of which are in Scotland – I am delighted that industry and stakeholders are working together to ensure that the skills issue within the industry does not impact future growth.”